Seeking advice on young catasetinae hybrids
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  #1  
Old 10-05-2018, 03:41 PM
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Default Seeking advice on young catasetinae hybrids

Hello fellow orchid enthusiasts!

I have very recently ordered three hybrid orchids from the catasetinae family. I ordered them now because this is the time when they should be in/start dormancy (I think?) so transport should be less of a stress for them.

Do you have any advice for the inexperienced grower about the first steps I should take when they arrive, bearing in mind the time of the year and their possible dormant period? I am not new to orchids but I didn't have any catasetinae orchid previous to these. I would like to learn with these plants, and I welcome any advice.

I must mention that all of them are young plants.

- Orchid Monnierara Millennium Magic 'Witchcraft' FCC/AOS
- Orchid Cycnodes Wine Delight 'JEM'
- Orchid Cycnodes Jumbo Puff 'Taiyoung No.1' SM/TOGA

Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:10 PM
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Assuming that they are in pots (not bare root) do not repot them at this time! They very likely are not going dormant quite yet, and you don't want to do anything to disturb the root system while it is still active. So even if they are growing out of the pots, just leave them. Continue to water until the leaves drop off... if it hasn't happened by the end of December you can stop watering to push dormancy. The ideal time to repot is shortly before they start to wake up from dormancy, so that very likely means January or February. Once they are truly dormant, timing is not critical, better to get them before they start rooting (which may happen before the shoots appear) If you repot in sphagnum, don't worry about the fact that it is damp (you can't work with totally dry sphagnum, after all) But not sopping wet, and after potting let it dry out. If you use small bark, then you can use it dry. This is opposite of the advice for most orchids which is to pot when new roots start to appear. With Catasetinae, you want to be ahead of those new roots, and their dormancy pattern makes that easy.

Once the new shoots appear, wait until the new roots are 6-8 cm long (if you can't see the new roots, let the new growth get that large with leaves starting to spread out) before resuming watering. Usually, the first roots go straight down into the medium where I can't see them, I just wait until I see a second batch of roots start, and the timing will be about right. It is better to wait an extra week or two if you aren't sure, than to start watering too early and risk rotting roots or new growth.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:28 PM
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Thank you for your wise advise. Truth is, I am planning to pot them in self-watering semi-hydro (when the right time comes) because that's what gives me less headaches (also allows me to take short vacations). Any thoughts on that, or any precautions?
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SillyKeiki View Post
Thank you for your wise advise. Truth is, I am planning to pot them in self-watering semi-hydro (when the right time comes) because that's what gives me less headaches (also allows me to take short vacations). Any thoughts on that, or any precautions?
I have never grown anything that way, so others will have to advise. I am sure that it would work. You would certainly be able to see the new roots develop. Those who grow that way would have to advise you as to how to deal with the old medium (especially sphagnum) that will be stuck to the old roots. One should be able to cut those old roots off while it is dormant (since they don't do much, the new ones do all the work) but personally I hate to cut roots that might yet serve a purpose. But I would defer to the judgement on those who grow Catasetinae in semi-hydro as to how to handle the situation. (When repotting into traditional media it 's easy... I just leave whatever doesn't come off easily)
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:05 AM
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That's no problem! I hace great patience and experience in delicately plucking old media out of the roots of orchids that need to be repotted and trimming the old dead ones.

The switch to semi-hydro can be a little shock for the plant at first, but in the long term it is best for me in my conditions because it means I would never have to disturb the roots again as the clay balls don't decompose.

I have been using it successfully with Phalaenopsis, Cattleyas, Brassias and even a small Dendrobium cuthbertsonii and they all like it.

I have seen Catasetums growing in semi-hydro as well, and I would like mine in that setup too.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:14 PM
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They’ll do great potted in s/h and those hybrids are bullet proof. They’re easy to grow and tough to kill, so you can pretty much do anything you want to them and they’ll do fine. Post pics here when you get them.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:54 PM
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I will!
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:51 AM
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Hello again, fellow orchid enthusiasts!

My new orchids have just arrived. They have spent 6 days on transport. So far, I have:
  1. - watered them with tap water (my tap water TDS is 150ppm).
  2. - put them in front of a bright west-facing window (small crack open so that the excess humidity can dry in the breeze as they came a little moist from transport).
  3. - temperature is 17ºC min at night and 25ºC max during the day. Relative humidity is kept at 60% with a cold mist humidifier.
  4. - removed a few dry sheaths and inspected them for pests, finding none.

I live in Madrid (Spain) and autumn has just begun. According to the stage of growth the plants are in and my season, do you have any advice for this catasetum n00b? Specially regarding fertilizer.

My plants for the future is to transfer them to self-watering semi-hydro when the time is right.

Thank you in advance.

PS: I am so happy with my new babies. This is the first time I order seedlings/young plants and I want to be the best plant mom.


Last edited by SillyKeiki; 10-16-2018 at 09:50 AM.. Reason: Specifying temperature range
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:15 AM
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First, don't repot... wait until late winter (like February) When you repot,don't bother to remove media that doesn't come off easily. Remember, at that time sphagnum will be bone dry, so impossible to remove without removing most of the roots.
No fertilizer needed now, but continue watering for at least another month or 6 weeks unless the leaves drop but you can gradually extend the time between waterings.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:51 PM
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The Jumbo Puff and Millennium Magic are already going dormant. Let them dry completely and I bet their leaves drop within a few days of the media drying out. No need to water them until the new growth's roots get long, maybe in mid-May.

The Wine Delight is still growing so water/fertilize as normal. I bet you've got at least 6-8 weeks before you can let this one go dry.
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